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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Deadly snakes in Australia and we saw two of them.

Saturday 12th Nov

Not to bad a start to the day, temps already up in the mid teens and the threat of thunderstorms later. The boat trip on the EMV (electric motorised vessel) Rubeena was booked for 2pm so we had a run out to Paradise beach first. Still part of 90 mile beach the coastline runs from Lakes Entrance to Port Albert. Miles of uninterrupted soft sand with hardly a soul to be seen other then those fishing. One fisherman caught a Stingray and, give him his due, he did try to put it back. The ferocity of those incoming waves were to much for that fish, being unable to make it toward open water and I'm sorry to say the fisherman gave up and left it dying on the beach! I did so want to help but those barbs on that tail....I would have been insane to have tried without prober protective wear.

Back to Port Sale and we joined 6 other passengers boarding Rubeena for the two hour cruise along the canal, past the historic swing bridge and into the river Latrobe. During his talk he happened to mention that the vessel we were on was the oldest wooden boat still working full time in Victoria. In fact she has never stopped working in all that time. Built in Sydney in 1910 and registered just before the Titanic sunk in April 1912 she has been lovingly looked after by her latest skipper and owner Alan.  He still runs twice daily tours 7 days a week for a 5 km trip down the river.

A different perspective

River Thompson on the right and Sale canal on the left
Alan showed us the scarring on some of the Red Gum trees. Apparently carved trees have been scarred by Aboriginal people for various purposes, from cutting out bark for a canoe to spiritual purposes. Very few carved trees remain today. They are said to be a history book and represent Aboriginal people’s soul. In fact it has even been said that the aboriginals used them as tomb stones to mark the grave of an important man. The design reflected the cultural heroes of this man and provided a pathway for his spirit to return to the sky world. The design faces the burial site to warn any who pass by of the spiritual significance.

The return trip had it's merits. Not only did we see fledgling whistling kites ( Skipper reckoned it was) but two different specious of snake crossing the river.

Alan was pretty certain it was a common Copperhead

A Tigar snake

A thunderstorm raged in the distance during the trip back, a few streaks of lightening and a couple of loud rumbles were all we had. The afternoon heated nicely with the temperature gauge in the car showing 29 deg. We sat out for a while once we got back supping beer and wine but it was just to hot and for once we were very glad of the airconditioning unit in the caravan. As to our battery problems  Ian thinks he has got it sorted. No chance now of wild camping on Phillip Island which is our next port of call as they frown on such things so it's back onto another tourist site for the next few nights.   

And wildlife


Wedge tailed Eagle (I think)

Good grief those gulls have got big! Wouldn't want this Pelican to poop when I'm under it!

And my first and only bug so far. Where are they all?????

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